Later The Same Evening

Later the same evening,

Or another night entirely,

When I opened the door

Then I heard music

From a neighbouring farm.

Suddenly there was requiem

For the old man’s going.

He could be heard leaving

With a forgotten son

In a vacant house.

He went in a breathless moment

Earlier, before noon,

From his few, poor acres.

Soon there were houses rising,

And the farm itself had died.

There comes a country living

Without the sound of cattle

And the crackle of harvest corn.

The last of the long grass glistens.

The cutter lies down to sleep.

There was rain falling

When I came close.

And resurrection

Gently touched my face,

My hopes murmuring.

When I saw, in splendor,

A dream laid down,

Like a courtier’s cloak before her,

The Queen of Elsewhere,

Pausing before passing by.



In The Novel Café, Ocean Park Boulevard

We were looking at the highway to China,

And the mountains in the sky

Were threatening storms

That passed in the spring winds.

Downtown would soon be dark.

On the boardwalk came the blues

Of an ageing man whose feelings

Were ancestral pain

The ocean will not wash away.

Better to sing than to die.

These things we see by chance,

Like city lights celestial in the rain,

Or something overheard about Idaho,

And snow falls out of season.

Then there is the history of corn:

Reading how the Ancients of America

Found in the wild the saving grace

Of what became corn.

Buttered lightly, it beckons

A continent to consume.

We see Aztecs and ox-wagons,

Empires and pioneers,

Feasting on corn.

A history of the Americas

Here is served every day.

Geoffrey Heptonstall is a writer of fiction (recently for Cerise Press, Every Writer’s Resource, Gold Dust, Litro, Open Wide, Sunk Island Review and Vintage Script).

His essays and reviews have appeared in The Bow-Wow Shop, Cerise Press, Contemporary Review, Gold DustInternational Times,The London Magazine, New Walk MagazinePN Review, ProleThe RecusantThe Tablet, The TLS and The Write Place At The Write Time; and recent poetry has been published in Connections, Inclement, Ink, Sweat & Tears, International Literary QuarterlyPoetry and Audience, and The Write Place At The Write Time.   

Geoffrey lives Cambridge, England, and travels a lot.

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